The Raspberry Pi Foundation has recently confirmed the release of its newest single-board computer, the Raspberry Pi 5, which is set to hit the market at the end of October 2023. With a small form factor no larger than a deck of playing cards, this budget-friendly computer board is packed with impressive power and performance capabilities that could potentially make it a viable desktop replacement.
In the past, the Raspberry Pi line of computers lacked the necessary processing power to serve as a true desktop replacement. While it could handle basic daily tasks, the overall experience fell short of ideal. However, the Raspberry Pi 5 is expected to change that narrative with its significant upgrades in power and performance. The processor is faster and more powerful, and the graphics support has been greatly improved. This upgrade opens up possibilities for more demanding tasks and applications.
Additionally, the Raspberry Pi 5 offers more expandability with features like USB 3.0, a PCI Express 2.0 interface, and dual four-lane 1.5Gbps MIPI transceivers for connecting cameras or displays. These enhancements contribute to the overall versatility of the board and make it suitable for a wide range of projects and applications.
In terms of specifications, the Raspberry Pi 5 is equipped with a 2.4GHz Arm Cortex-A76 CPU (quad-core, 64-bit) and a VideoCore VII GPU that supports OpenGL ES 3.1 and Vulcan 1.2 graphics. It also boasts dual 4K60 HDMI output with HDR support, a 4K60 HEVC decoder, dual-band Wi-Fi 5, and Bluetooth 5.0 with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Additionally, it features a high-speed microSD card interface, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet with PoE+ support, two 4-lane MIPI camera/display transceivers, a PCIe 2.0 x1 interface, Raspberry Pi standard 40-pin GPIO header, a real-time clock, and a power button.
One notable improvement in the Raspberry Pi 5 is the addition of mounting holes for a heat sink and connectors for a coin battery to power the real-time clock. This allows for better thermal management and improves the overall user experience. The introduction of a power button is also a welcome addition, as it provides a dedicated way to control the system’s power.
The Raspberry Pi 5 also comes with enhanced accessories. The official case now includes a built-in fan and features a removable top lid for added convenience. While the price of the new case has increased from $5 to $10, it proves to be a worthwhile investment. Additionally, there is an active cooler specifically designed for the Raspberry Pi 5’s chip, which helps maintain optimal operating temperatures. For power supply, the Raspberry Pi 5 recommends the use of its new 27W (5V, 5A) power supply, offering improved performance and an extra 5W of power for the board.
Pre-orders for the Raspberry Pi 5 are already available from select retailers ahead of its official launch on October 23. It will be offered in two RAM configurations, 4GB and 8GB, priced at $60 and $90, respectively. In the United States, the Raspberry Pi 5 can be pre-ordered from various retailers, while individuals in the United Kingdom can turn to Pimoroni and The Pi Hut. For customers outside these regions, international ordering or referring to the official reseller list is recommended.
With its impressive specifications, enhanced performance, and upgraded accessories, the Raspberry Pi 5 is undoubtedly a notable addition to the Raspberry Pi lineup. Its potential to serve as a desktop replacement, coupled with its affordability, makes it an attractive option for both casual users and tech enthusiasts alike. Whether for prototyping electronic devices, running demanding applications, or exploring various projects, the Raspberry Pi 5 is certainly worth considering.